“The story about this road can be short” (report 8th silent walk by Gert Bos).

Every year we walk the Walk of Wisdom in silence with a group: our silent walks. Gert Bos is one of the volunteers who supervises the group and wrote the report below.

The Walk of Wisdom in a year round – Marja Hakkoer

On September 3, fifteen of us stood in a lovely sun at Wijchen station to walk the eighth silent walk, Wijchen-Afferden.

We started with the poem “Daylight” by Marijke van Hooff. It contains the sentence “. . Catch the light while it is..”, that would take no effort at all today in a literal sense, so there is plenty of time to muse on the broader meaning of this sentence.

Photo: Marja Hakkoer, Heerlijkheid Leur

After a few kilometers we ended up at the annual market of Leur. Stalls with all kinds of stuff, a beautiful old church where you could sit in the pews and enjoy the remarkable paintings and a terrace where we drank coffee.

After a while we went back into silence. We walked through the Leursche Bosch, where I saw a devil’s or witch’s egg (what does such a name actually mean?), past a windmill and through the surprisingly beautiful ‘Hernensche Bosch’ to end up at mini campsite Zus & Zus. At this well-known overnight address along the Walk of Wisdom , we took a longer, planned break. The welcome was warm with coffee/tea and cake. Opportunity to eat and talk.

In the meantime, several hours had passed, we had taken it very easy and fully enjoyed the surroundings. It was time to hit the road, to form our ribbon of silent walkers again. The surroundings remained atmospheric, Hernen Castle, groves, streams and beautiful farms. Hans read the first poem from the series ‘Dichtgroeiweg‘ by Rutger Kopland, “The story about this road can be short…”. Very nice, I want to read that collection of ‘Patient Tools’ again.

At the village of Bergharen we stopped at the Kapelberg where we walked the Stations of the Cross. Impressive. By now we realized that the walk would be a lot longer than stated in the invitation. For some of us that was a bitter pill to swallow that they had not counted on and when, moreover, due to a misunderstanding, there was a split in our group, they indicated very clearly that it went too fast for them, that they had too little opportunity to rest and that they preferred to continue at their own pace in isolation from the group. A difficult moment.

Our Lady’s Chapel Bergharen (Marja Hakkoer)

A ribbon is beautiful, but it shouldn’t be stretched too much, otherwise it will snap. Fortunately, we were close to B&B De Donk, an overnight address along the WOW. This is a beautiful, hospitable place with a wide view. The peace and quiet there did us good, misunderstandings were talked out, our group with many differences in expectations, pace and physical capabilities stayed together, we could continue.

It wasn’t that far to Afferden, our final destination. At the Old Tower there we could even stop for a while to enjoy the ‘Old One’. We had plenty of time to catch the bus at the end point, restaurant De Tabaksplant. Just pick up a ring and it was over after more than 20km. For some it was a tough trip but we were happy that we could finish it together.